The Wolf Of Oren-Yaro

This was a strangely enticing book. It isn’t about a young Queen or a king. It is a middle aged woman who had a son, and well frankly I really liked how the author portrayed her.

She wasn’t portrayed as perfect, but full of flaws and weaknesses. And she constantly ran into all sorts of obstacles because she was stubborn or didn’t know how thing worked there. I really enjoyed how her personal character is rather interesting, uncompromising but never brutal. All the while she has many personal flaws which takes her to interesting places.

The intrigue to me was the best of this all. It was how conspiracies, every country looking to her as some sort of stepping stone to ruling Oren-Yaro. Even when she already has an heir. This takes the intrigue of it to a really dark level, with plenty of villains here turn out to be fascinating people, and the machinations all well done.

It is between Rayyel, who has some reasons why he wanted to know about and is opposing Taleyian. And the Prince Yueback, who is an intriguing villain nonetheless.

I will also fall in love with Khine, who is a mix of con artist and semi good person. Again, I just cannot turn back but become enamoured by him and I completely understand why Taleyian will fall in love with him. I will too, if you ask me.

Overall, this was just enjoyable to this extent. The intrigue, the setting which I say is very Asian inspired given the names. And last but not least, the main character who is a queen, but has her own flaws, struggles to control her court. I really enjoyed reading this tale for all it gave me, and I will recommend it to those who have a love of intrigue with characters who are likely to put power first.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Thick As Thieves

I found this rather okay, the world which is heavily inspired by Ancient Greece was definitely interested, intricate and well developed.

The story is about a slave, who runs away. But after he runs away, almost all my interest had waned in him. Nothing wrong, just that I really didn’t like how the story went. It was just travelling, and more travelling. And eventually, I found myself bored.

And when that happens, it became a great chore to read it. There just wasn’t much of anything really drawing me into this story at all, apart form the way that Kamet’s thought about his slavery, not just that and also some instances of his past.

And the way that enslaved people are trusted more than those who aren’t. It makes sense, and most of it is filled with difficult political intrigue. Also, managing to characterize a person that had died. I really did like this book on some level, except that nothing much happens in this book. That is why I was bored and really I couldn’t enjoy it.

So, overall this book does have interesting worldbuilding but just a rather lackluster plot.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Daughter of the burning city

I found that this was rather okay. Although I didn’t care much for Sorina, but in the circus again it takes something quite new to this.

Sorina is blind, and doesn’t have eyes. Although the strangest part of her character is how she can see without them. The best way this could have been done was through sensory description, otherwise it is physically impossible for her to be able describe. She doesn’t have eyes. Which was a weakness, third person narration will have done a far better job when it came to this.

Also, the pacing really seemed off to me as I spent such a long time picking it up and down, but didn’t feel like wanting to continue. The ending was okay, some questions were answered with an interested twist given. As well as making me think, what does this really do. It is simply a story about Sorina facing danger and protecting her family, but nothing managed to shake me from within. It is pure enjoyment. Which was okay, but at the same time quite boring.

And the world, although some development is given is flimsy at best. There really is nothing to define any of them, apart from being freaks, and most of the world building at least to me could have been better, and more vivid.

The weakness laid in how unbelievable it was for a blind girl to be describing so well. And that really is my main issue which developed into subsequent issues regarding the worldbuilding and the description. It lacks a little bit of logic since it is written in first person.

However, I really like this book on some level. Although there are sone undeniable weaknesses in it too, such as the plot and description. It had an interesting premise, but mediocre execution. And this is why I think that this book is rather okay, a quick fun read but probably won’t do it again.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Fierce Winds Rising

DNF @68%

I just couldn’t keep on reading, it was rather boring as the pace never seemed to pick up. And really, I really only saw things being told to me. That was going to happen but probably never will, at least at the pace it is going at.

Also, not to mention that not even a single character related to me. I really didn’t find anything interesting about the characters, the world was told to me like any other. The kind you will find in any epic fantasy. Nothing dark as of yet, or nothing horrible is happening.

And that to me, is always boring. And also, an absolute recipe for disaster. Which was what this book proved to me. Nothing really kept me reading, the writing was readable enough for me to give it many chances. But by the two thirds, nothing interesting has happened.

And this is where I say, “I’m out.”

Rating: 1 out of 5

The Queen Of Blood

This was a huge surprise. I never really thought I will enjoy this so much, but it was a pleasent surprise to be reading something so different.

The world to me was beautiful, gorgeous and rich. Where the title of Queen was always a burden, and always not really something that is given nor earned. And the world isn’t sexist, not at all.

I really Daleina due to the fact that she may not be the most talented, she is one of the worst. The last candidate. She just works hard, really hard to get where she is. And that is where I think she really won me over. Not because of her skill or even talent, where it will be the classic of the YA fantasy trope. Here, hard work trumps all. Daleina is bright, and rather brilliant. She didn’t much talent, but never let it get to her.

As for the way that Queen Fara was, it indeed was different. Rather different from what I expected. And even a complicated layer was added to her. Her character determined what kind of Queen she was. And her character having that flaw, meant a horrible tragedy was waiting to happen.

As for all the questions about how many lives should be used to save the greater good, about how much must be sacrificed for the sake of others. Whether it is lives for lives, or for glory. This makes the need to tackle all this questions. And really, it makes it a whole lot deeper than it seems.

So, as you can see this epic fantasy made me love it. Made me for once, passionate about this genre again. Daleina isn’t what anyone would expect of an Heir, she lacks talent but makes up for it in character and perseverance. Which is unlike the usual kind of fantasy I read, and a nice change for once. And the world is full of darkeness and light, spirits kill and build. It all really makes it feel rich to me.

And finally, this was a worthwhile read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

The River And The Ravages

I really enjoyed the book for what it was, a gorgeous romance which I fell in love with somehow. As well the topics that it discussed in the way that I wanted it to.

I like Aaliya in the way that she is rather real, and makes an effort to make romance works. And Maddalena, even if she did have a remarriage, there is some form of ambition with her. And well with me, I like a woman witj ambition and hopes. Aaliya is rather different than that, but nonetheless I enjoyed her. Although still cannot be compared to Maddalena. To me she was the one who I not only liked but loved the most.

As for the intrigue, I found it really interesting and also really interesting. The writing gave it an added edge which made me love it even more, when it flows nicely and all the while making a lot of interesting situations.

Overall, the world is rather interesting and the way that despite this being a male dominated society. There is a lot of nuance to these characters presented here and to me they felt vivid and even complicated. As for the mature parts of the novel, I believe that it is handled well and even presented in a way that I enjoy it.

Overall this was a very interesting and even enjoyable novel. In a way that the characters were well rounded and real, with the ending being rather well done in the way that I enjoyed this. For me, I will recommend this.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Fortissima

This was rather okay, about a girl who was a princess in hiding. It does have some unique aspects, but unfortunately I found the main character to not be just bland but absolutely uninteresting, I couldn’t even be bothered to pay attention to any of the side characters.

Although it does have her being a royal which is classic, but towards the end it is a dangerous position for her to be, sadly it just took too long to move there. If it had been her taken into captivity earlier, it will prove much more interesting as her mother will and should have done something about that.

But naturally, it is mostly travelling without really much about allies or even knowing why she is the princess and how come she was born in a cave. When the answers does come, it is just too way back for me to really care too much.

However, there are rare moments where I did feel something for her, such as the talk with the king. Where she was given two choices, and eventually when she saw what happened. I do see potential, but just that it lost focus in the first book. Pity.

So, overall I may continue with this to see how it goes. As it does have promise, a little bit of intrigue. However, like I said, it just needs to work on the execution to be perfect and me liking the main character and able to connect with her better. Other than that this was pretty decent.

Rating: 2 out of 5